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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 22 - Verse 11

Verse 11. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still. This must refer to the scenes beyond the judgment, and must be intended to affirm an important truth in regard to the condition of men in the future state. It cannot refer to the condition of men this side the grave, for there is no fixed and unchangeable condition in this world. At the close of this book, and at the close of the whole volume of revealed truth, it was proper to declare, in the most solemn manner, that when these events were consummated everything would be fixed and unchanging; that all who were then found to be righteous would remain so for ever; and that none who were impenitent, impure, and wicked, would ever change their character or condition. That this is the meaning here seems to me to be plain; and this sentiment accords with all that is said in the Bible of the final condition of the righteous and the wicked. See Mt 25:46; Ro 2:6-9; 1 Th 1:7-10; Da 12:2; Ec 11:3.

Every assurance is held out in the Bible that the righteous will be secure in holiness and happiness, and that there will be no danger—no possibility—that they will fall into sin, and sink to woe; and by the same kind of arguments by which it is proved that their condition will be unchanging, is it demonstrated that the condition of the wicked will be unchanging also. The argument for the eternal punishment of the wicked is as strong as that for the eternal happiness of the righteous; and if the one is open to doubt, there is no security for the permanence of the other. The word unjust here is a general term for an unrighteous or wicked man. The meaning is, that he to whom that character properly belongs, or of whom it is properly descriptive, will remain so for ever. The design of this seems to be, to let the ungodly and the wicked know that there is no change beyond the grave, and by this solemn consideration to warn them now to flee from the wrath to come. And assuredly no more solemn consideration can ever be presented to the human mind than this.

And he which is filthy, let him be filthy still. The word filthy here is, of course, used with reference to moral defilement or pollution. It refers to the sensual, the corrupt, the profane; and the meaning is, that their condition will be fixed, and that they will remain in this state of pollution for ever. There is nothing more awful than the idea that a polluted soul will be always polluted; that a heart corrupt will be always corrupt; that the defiled will be put for ever beyond the possibility of being cleansed from sin.

And he that is righteous, let him be righteous still. The just, the upright man—in contradistinction from the unjust mentioned in the first part of the verse.

And he that is holy, let him be holy still. He that is pure, in contradistinction from the filthy mentioned in the former part of the verse. The righteous and the holy will be confirmed in their character and condition, as well as the wicked. The affirmation that their condition will be fixed is as strong as that that of the wicked will be be—and no stronger; the entire representation is, that all beyond the judgment will unchanging for ever. Could any more solemn thought be brought before the mind of man?

{a} "he that is unjust" Pr 1:24-33; Ec 11:3; Mt 25:10; 2 Ti 3:13

{b} "righteous" Pr 4:18; Mt 5:6

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